Santa Cruz County History - People



Old Soldiers: Santa Cruz County Civil War Veterans
by Robert L. Nelson

ABBOTT, AZRA G (1839-1913)

History of Santa Cruz County California, Edward Sanford Harrison

Photograph of Azra G. Abbott
Azra G. Abbott

Of that noble band of young men who, fired by loyal devotion to the Union cause, offered their services to their country during the Civil War and went forth to do battle for the great end of universal freedom, comparatively few are spared to enjoy the fruits of their sacrifices and to witness the remarkable prosperity of a reunited country. Among those who served faithfully and well and who remain among us, mention belongs to Colonel Abbott of Santa Cruz, whose service was so impressively loyal as to bring him an honorary commission as Lieutenant Colonel from Governor Sloane of Wisconsin. To this rank he arose from his service as a private soldier, solely through his personal bravery, unaided by prestige of influential friends or those other adventitious aids to success.

The northern part of New Hampshire, where he was born in 1839, was the scene of the childhood home of Colonel Abbott, who received his schooling largely across the line in Canada. During 1854 he accompanied his father from New Hampshire to Wisconsin and settled near Columbia, a village not far from Madison. The father took up land and undertook to clear the same prepatory to cultivation. In this arduous pioneer task he was aided by the son for four years. At the expiration of that time the youth started out to earn his own way. Under a trained and skilled boss he served an apprenticeship to the trades of blacksmith and wagon maker, and while he was thus employed the Civil War broke out in all of its fury. Immediately he determined to leave his work and go to the aide of the Union. September 19, he enlisted as a private in the Fourteenth Wisconsin Infantry, and was sent to the south shortly afterward, joining the force commanded by General Grant at Shiloh just previous to that famous engagement. He remained at the front and took part in many engagements. It was his good fortune not to suffer a day from illness during his entire service. During the siege of Vicksburg he helped to take a battery of six guns and one of these guns was later mounted and placed on the grounds of the state capitol of Wisconsin. While at Shiloh he witnessed the drowning of the war governor, Harvey of Wisconsin, who was at Shiloh looking after the condition of Wisconsin troops. After the surrender of Vicksburg, which occurred on the 4th of July, 1864, Colonel Abbott was mustered out of the service. Although never ill, he had endured misfortune in battle, receiving two wounds in the shoulder and suffering the loss of his right eye.

The residence of Colonel Abbott in California dates from 1870, when he settled at Newcastle, Placer County, and erected the first brick building in the village. For twenty three years he made his home in that town, meanwhile following the trades of blacksmith and wagon maker, and also for some time working in the construction department of the Central Pacific Railroad. Upon the organization by the Knights Pythias of Foothill Lodge at Newcastle he became one of the charter members and afterward took a warm interest in the philanthropic effort of the order. In addition he became a charter member of the lodge of Odd Fellow at Newcastle and was further identified with the Improved order of Red Men. During those years he passed through all of the chairs in the different lodges. The Grand Army of the Republic has received his sympathetic support and he welcomes with an undying fervor the reunions of the veterans, when the old soldiers meet to tell their campfire tales of war and danger and battles bravely won. Politically he has been a Republican ever since casting his first ballot. While still living in Wisconsin he married, December 31, 1866 Miss Martha Abbott, a native of that state and a woman possessing many graces of character and attainment. Three children came to bless their union, namely; Glencora, wife of Jack Werner of Santa Cruz; Abbie, who married J.J. Clancey, a gunner in the United States navy; and Guy E., residing at Elmhurst. During 1893 the family removed to Santa Cruz, hoping that the climate would prove beneficial to the health of Colonel Abbott. The expectation was justified by the results and he is now the sole owner of the San Lorenzo livery stable, in which for a time he owned one half interest, but subsequently purchased the interest of his partner, and since then has managed alone the large business there established. (p. 133)

A Compendium of the War of the Rebellion, Frederick H. Dyer

Wisconsin in the War, Fourteenth Infantry

The history of the Fourteenth Regiment to the battle of Pittsburg Landing, has been given on pages 475 to 477; in that battle, 488,489; from it to the battle of Corinth, 504; in the Corinth battle, 515, in the pursuit, 521. November 2, they left Corinth, and marched to Grand Junction, Mississippi. On the 27th, they moved toward holly Springs, and the next day encountered the enemy, who retreated to their entrenchments at Waterford. December 18th, they left Abbeville and moved by way of Oxford to Yocona, Mississippi, and thence to Moscow, Tennessee, where they entered camp on the 30th. Leaving Moscow, they camped in Memphis, January 13th, 1863, and embarking there landed on the Louisiana side of the river, at Vicksburg, on the 25th. February 8th, they moved by transport up to Lake Providence. There they joined in exploring Bayou Baxter, with reference to opening it for small steamers, and in capturing 3,200 bales of cotton at American Bend. April 20th, they moved for Milliken's Bend, and thence by way of Richmond and Smith's plantation, to Perkins' Landing, where they crossed the Mississippi to Grand Gulf, may 13th, and the next day went to Raymond. Their position at the battle of Champion Hills is stated on page 649; their part at the battle of Big Black River, 652, at Vicksburg 656, 657. Their wounded 661 (including Abbott).

Editor's Note: After this point, Abbot departed.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (July 25, 1913)

Col. A.G. Abbott Died Thursday

Col A.G. Abbott died Thursday morning at the ripe age of 74 years, his death following an operation performed a few days ago. He was a man highly respected in this community.

Santa Cruz Sentinel (July 27, 1913)

Funeral of Col. Abbott

Saturday afternoon a large number of friends assembled at the undertaking parlors of Wessendorf & Staffler to attend the funeral of the late A.G. Abbott. The ritualistic services of the G.A.R. was carried out under the auspices of Wallace Reynolds Post. The body is to be shipped to Newcastle for burial.


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